Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ludmila "Ata" Munroe Memorial

If you knew her, as many of those over 50 certainly do around these parts, you knew there was something distinctly different emanating from that small frame. I met her much later in life, after the Drink and the weather had taken its toll on both her mind and her teeth. Still... such an imposing personality, perched on my father-in-law's back porch, holding forth on any subject with wit and unabashed self-confidence; not caring one iota if she was rewriting history in one sentence and contradicting herself in the next. 

Known simply as "Munroe" to many, I knew her by her Czech familial nickname (it seems all Czechs have two names), born of my connection by marriage. Ata was certainly crazy as a loon, yet, in turns, compassionate and thoughtful of others; bringing by books that reminded her of you, albeit rescued from some garbage pit. 

The most interesting piece of this human puzzle for me is the years from 1963-1970 that she spent at MACC, teaching Literature, English and sponsoring various clubs. She brought miming to Moberly and hosted an annual fundraiser called the Bizarre Bazaar. I've sat in her old classroom, now an office suite, trying to connect the Aunt Ata I knew with the Ludmila who chaperoned trips to avant-garde theater. Sadly, it's difficult.

So, we celebrate the life and legacy of Ludmila H. "Ata" Munroe, on the one-year anniversary of her passing; Sunday, Oct. 26th, 5 to 7 p.m. at the 4th Street Theatre in downtown Moberly. Leave your brown-bagged bottle at home in memory of her as refreshments will be served. Be sure to bring your memories; we've all got plenty to share.

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